30 October 2023
Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines has welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to walk away from trade negotiations with the European Union which could have resulted in a bad deal for the Australian agricultural industry.
Dr Haines has been a strong advocate for protecting Prosecco winemakers and grape growers in the North East of Victoria. The European Union was seeking to place Geographic Indication protection on Prosecco as part of the deal which winemakers and grape growers say would devastate the industry.
“Prosecco is vital to the economy in the King Valley and a robust wine industry is vital to Indi,” Dr Haines said.
“I am pleased Trade Minister Don Farrell has listened to the concerns of farmers, winemakers, grape growers and the broader agricultural industry on this deal.
“What was on the table was not a good deal for regional Australia, and we have seen little progress and compromise by the European Union, so this was the right call for us.”
Dr Haines facilitated meetings between a delegation of King Valley winemakers and the Trade Minister Don Farrell, Agricultural Minister Murray Watt, in Parliament House late last year, and has discussed the negotiations with the Trade Minister throughout 2023.
“I’m doing all that I can to make sure our producers retain the ability to use the name Prosecco,” Dr Haines said.
I am pleased the Trade Minister has heeded our calls, and the calls of the National Farmers Federation, Australian Grape and Wine and other industry bodies, and walked away from the negotiations where they are at,” Dr Haines said.
“While the Labor Government doesn’t always get it right for farmers and regional communities, this is a sensible decision, no deal is better than a bad deal.
“A trade deal with the EU is not over and I am sure negotiations will resume sometime in the future. When that time comes, I will encourage the government to keep negotiating in the best interests of our Prosecco growers and winemakers.”